Everybody has heard of that scary acronym - STI. For those of you new to sex, or for those of you who need a refresher course, STI stands for sexually transmitted infection, and it IS as scary as it sounds. STIs are a range of infections that can be shared through sex, oral, anal, or vaginal. Safe sex techniques ensure that these types of infections are not passed around.
Additionally, by practicing safe sex, you can decrease your chances of unwanted pregnancy, which is also a plus! In turn, taking precautionary measures allows for you and your partner to enjoy each other's company without worrying about suffering later!
There are a few ways you can practice safe sex, and I'll outline them right here for you.
1. Condoms, Condoms, Condoms
Rubbers. Love Glove. Contraceptive. Trojans. Sleeves. Whatever nickname you wanna call it, these (relatively cheap) barriers come in all different shapes, sizes, latex/ non-latex, even flavors and THEY ARE YOUR FRIEND. By making sure you and your partner use a condom, you decrease the chance of pregnancy by nearly 98%, and you are able to know that you and your partner are safe from sharing downstairs fluids, which may or may not have STI's. Score!
2. Birth Control
Another form of contraceptive is birth control, which can be found in many different forms as well. Taking a daily pill, wearing a patch, having a nuvaring, having an IUD, or even an emergency contraceptive like Plan B all help with avoiding unwanted pregnancy, but do not play a role in STI avoidance, so still use a condom!
3. Open Communication
This probably is the biggest factor in safe sex: talking. As intimidating as it may be, having an open line of communication with your partner is the greatest way in succeeding with having safe sex, as it allows for a nonjudgmental and understanding discussion platform with someone you want to share your body with. By telling a sexual partner you want them to get tested, or testing yourself and discussing results with a partner, you are caring about both your and their well being, which is awesome.
One way to have ~fun~ and not at all have to share bodily fluids is foreplay. There are many blogs and books and magazines which discuss different types of foreplay, or how you can spice up your time with your special partner without actually inserting things places. Another alternative is buying sex toys and using them with your partner.
5. Abstinence/"Over The Pants Stuff"
Last but not least, and as some might say an "outdated" sexual route, is abstinence, or barely "over the pants" action. By altogether abstaining from sexual acts, or simply using your hands and imagination, you can for sure avoid both pregnancy and STI's altogether.